[Federal Register: February 23, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 35)]
[Page 8818-8819]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Devils River Minnow Draft Recovery 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces the 
availability for public review of the Devils River Minnow Draft 
Recovery Plan. The Devils River minnow (Dionda diaboli) is known to 
occur in streams in Kinney and Val Verde Counties, Texas, and Coahila, 
Mexico. The Service solicits review and comment from the public on this 
Draft Recovery Plan.

DATES: The comment period for this Draft Recovery Plan closes April 11, 
2005. Comments on the Draft Recovery Plan must be received by the 
closing date to assure consideration.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the Draft Recovery Plan can obtain 
a copy from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological 
Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 
78758. The Draft Recovery Plan may also be obtained from the Internet 
at http://southwest.fws.gov/htopic.html/ and http://ifw2es.fws.gov/AustinTexas/.
 Comments and materials concerning this Draft Recovery 
Plan may be mailed to ``Field Supervisor'' at the address above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Pine, Austin Ecological 
Services Field Office, at the above address; telephone (512) 490-0057, 
facsimile (512) 490-0974.



    The Devils River minnow (Dionda diaboli) was listed as threatened 
on October 20, 1999, under authority of the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (64 FR 56596). The threats facing the survival and 
recovery of this species include habitat loss due to declining surface 
water flows from springs, pollution to streams, and impacts from 
nonnative species. The Draft Recovery Plan includes information about 
the species and provides objectives and actions needed to delist the 
    The delisting criteria proposed in the Draft Plan state that the 
Devils River minnow should be considered for delisting when:
    (1) Population monitoring results verify stable or increasing 
Devils River minnow population trends for at least 10 years, throughout 
its range, including Devils River (middle portion), San Felipe Creek, 
Sycamore Creek, and Pinto Creek in Texas. Stable populations should 
also be confirmed in the R[iacute]o Salado drainage in Mexico and in 
Las Moras Creek, if reestablishment is scientifically feasible; (2) 
Flows in streams supporting Devils River minnow have been assured, 
including Las Moras Creek (if reestablishment is feasible), through 
State or local groundwater management plans, water conservation plans, 
drought contingency plans, regulations, or equivalent binding 
documents; (3) Protection, where necessary, of surface water quality is 
ensured by demonstrated compliance with water quality standards and 
implementation of water quality controls, particularly in urban areas 
such as the cities of Del Rio and Brackettville; and, (4) Management 
and control of nonnative species by local, regional, State, and Federal 
authorities are demonstrated to be successful.
    A summary of high-priority recovery tasks includes actions to: (1) 
Maintain and enhance Devils River minnow populations and habitats by 
monitoring rangewide status, determining biological and ecological 
requirements, identifying specific habitat requirements, and managing 
existing Devils River minnow habitat; (2) Establish additional Devils 
River minnow populations within the historic range, specifically in Las 
Moras Creek, by developing and implementing a reintroduction plan, 
developing landowner cooperative agreements, and restoring habitat 
conditions at former sites of occurrence; and (3) Maintain genetic 
reserves of Devils River minnow through captive propagation by 
developing and implementing a genetics management plan and maintaining 
at least two captive populations until no longer needed.
    Restoring an endangered or threatened animal or plant to the point

[[Page 8819]]

where it is again a secure, self-sustaining member of its ecosystem is 
a primary goal of the Service's endangered species program. To help 
guide the recovery effort, the Service is working to prepare recovery 
plans for most of the listed species native to the United States. 
Recovery plans describe actions considered necessary for conservation 
of species, establish criteria for downlisting or delisting them, and 
estimate time and cost for implementing the recovery measures needed.
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.), requires the development of recovery plans for listed 
species unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a 
particular species. Section 4(f) of the Act, as amended in 1988, 
requires that public notice and an opportunity for public review and 
comment be provided during recovery plan development. The Service 
considers all information presented during a public comment period 
prior to approval of each new or revised recovery plan. The Service and 
others also take these comments into account in the course of 
implementing recovery plans.
    The Devils River Minnow Draft Recovery Plan is being submitted for 
review to all interested parties, including independent peer review. 
After consideration of comments received during the review period, the 
recovery plan will be submitted for final approval.

Public Comments Solicited

    The Service solicits written comments on the recovery plan 
described. All comment received by the date specified above will be 
considered prior to approval of the recovery plan.


    The authority for this action is Section 4(f) of the Endangered 
Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f).

    Dated: January 19, 2005.
Geoffrey L. Haskett,
Acting Regional Director: Region 2.
[FR Doc. 05-3411 Filed 2-22-05; 8:45 am]